Pidgin, Fanon, Jack Kerouac, Suicide, Britain, Charle Manson


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Full Understand

Matt Broomfield | New Statesman | 20th November 2017

Real-time linguistics. A new pidgin evolves among migrants on the Greek island of Lesvos awaiting entry into Europe. “Lesvos English is close to Aviation English used by pilots all over the globe. Any error must be identified with the word “correction”. Prepositions are stripped out, while call-and-response exchanges like understand?, yes understand and problem?, no problem litter every phone call, serving much the same purpose as Roger or Wilco (‘will comply’) in Aviation English” (1,350 words)

In The Shadow Of Franz Fanon

Florence Aubenas | Verso | 21st November 2017

Notes on the memoirs of Marie-Jeanne Manuellan, who worked as Fanon’s deputy when he ran a psychiatric ward in Tunis in the 1950s. “Fanon is the kind of man who makes everyone uneasy. A Frenchman born in the Caribbean who chose to die for Algeria — a country that did not then exist, and whose language he did not speak. In the hospital, the psychiatrist forced Marie-Jeanne to listen to an Algerian refugee who had been tortured by a policeman. She was ashamed to be French” ` (2,040 words)

The Art Of Fiction: Jack Kerouac

Ted Berrigan | Paris Review | 1st September 1968

Period piece. Tantalising mixture of genius and rubbish. You sense what remains, and what has been lost. “What I do now is write something like an average of eight thousand words a sitting, in the middle of the night, and another about a week later, resting and sighing in between. I really hate to write. Haven’t you heard a politician use fifteen hundred words to say something he could have said in exactly three words? So I get it out of the way so as not to bore myself either” (11,500 words)

Why Do So Many People Want to Die?

Nicholas Humphrey | Sapiens | 21st November 2017

The meat of this essay is a speculation on suicide rates among prehistoric humans. Why did any sentient being capable of suicide choose to live in such miserable conditions? “When our ancestors first discovered that mental oblivion could be bought so cheaply, how vulnerable would they have been? It’s realistic to imagine a scenario where suicide would have spread like measles in an unprotected population. Even today, the suicide meme jumps all too easily from one mind to the next” (1,470 words)

How To Be A Trade Champion

Peter Ungphakorn | Trade Beta Blog | 21st November 2017

The inner ring of the World Trade Organisation is called the G5, and consists of US, EU, Brazil, China, India. The second ring is called the Green Room, and consists of 20-30 members including the G5 plus Canada, Japan, Switzerland, Australia, Argentina. Once outside the EU, Britain will not make the G5. It could make the Green Room, so long as it has a clear free-trade policy, and good execution, and if it is willing to accept a “constructive middle-level role” (1,560 words)

Charles Manson

Louis Theroux | Idler | 22nd November 2017

Extracts from the transcript of Charles Manson’s parole hearing before the California Board Of Prison Terms in April 1992. He failed at this and each subsequent hearing. “I don’t want to appear like I’m somebody, but I’m on top of everything. I’m the smartest guy in the whole world. There’s no subject I can’t tell you everything you want to know about it, you know. I even fixed a Harley Davidson motorcycle. I know how to deal off the bottom. I learned everything you taught me, Dad” (1,100 words)

Video of the day Zenith

What to expect:

Beyond-gorgeous views of Iceland in summer, from Henry Jun Wah Lee

Thought for the day

An ethicist is someone who sees something wrong with whatever you have in mind
Marvin Minsky

Podcast of the day Books Of The Year | TLS

Editor and writers of the Times Literary Supplement discuss their books of the year
(43'53")

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